dark chocolate tart with gingersnap crust

I know that a lot of you think that I break my back in the kitchen each week, slaving over the most exacting steps in this recipe or that. But the fact is, I get more lax every year. I don’t feel as badly when things don’t go perfectly and I don’t feel any need to prove my cooking prowess by making my own pâte feuilletée when it will probably keep me cooking until midnight.

gingery ginger snapsgingersnap crumb crustdark chocolatechocolate tart with gingersnap crust

And this is the perfect example. Each year, I make two desserts for each family and I take requests. This year, both asked for chocolate and that brought me to this recipe I’ve had bookmarked forever which is so easy, it almost felt like cheating. What would Thanksgiving be if I wasn’t tired from totally miscalculating how long it would take to cook everything on Wednesday night and pulling pies and cheesecakes out of the oven at 1 a.m.? Could I break with such glowy traditions?

You bet I could.

chocolate puddle

One year ago: Rugelach Pinwheels
Two years ago: Salted Chocolate Caramels, Zucchini, Ham, Basil and Ricotta Fritters

Dark Chocolate Tart with Gingersnap Crust
Adapted from Bon Appetit, December 2007

The tart has a shiny, almost crackly top light a brownie and an interior that is exactly like a truffle, which is to say that if you don’t like your chocolate desserts intense — like flourless chocolate cake or pot de creme-level intense — this is definitely not the tart for you. My family was in the former camp, nibbling at half-slices and pushing them away. But Alex’s family wanted seconds. Guess what they’re getting again next year?

The original recipe calls for an ingredient I loathe — candied ginger. If that’s your thing, by all means, go for it. Instead, I made this the way I saw fit, with a couple pinches of cinnamon and salted butter in the crust, and it came out exactly as I’d hoped.

Makes 10 servings

8 ounces gingersnap cookies (about 32 cookies), coarsely broken
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) salted butter, melted

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Softly whipped cream, for serving

For crust:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Finely grind gingersnap cookies in processor (yielding 1 1/2 to 1 2/3 cups). Add melted butter and process until moistened. Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Place pan on rimmed baking sheet.

For filling:
Combine finely chopped bittersweet chocolate and heavy whipping cream in heavy medium saucepan. Whisk over low heat until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove saucepan from heat. Whisk egg yolks, egg, sugar, flour, ground black pepper, salt and cinnamon in medium bowl to blend. Very gradually whisk chocolate mixture into egg mixture until smooth and blended. Pour chocolate filling into crust.

Bake chocolate tart until filling puffs slightly at edges and center is softly set, about 30 minutes. Transfer to rack. Cool tart in pan 20 minutes. Gently remove tart pan sides and cool tart completely.

Cut tart into thin wedges and serve with softly whipped cream. I’d keep it unsweetened, but that’s just personal taste.

Do ahead: Chocolate tart can be made 1 day ahead. Cover tart and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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237 comments on dark chocolate tart with gingersnap crust

  1. Amy

    Thank you for posting the recipe to this. I confess that when I saw the pics up on Thanksgiving I spent a little while trying to find it in the archives. It looked so delicious and tempting that I was up to the task of attempting it at 1 a.m. :)

  2. Pam

    Deb is there an egg substitute I can use instead of the egg yokes (maybe just for one of the yokes) My husband is ill and on a restricted diet but he loves dark chocolate cake and this would make his day

  3. Vidya

    Hi Deb,
    I came across your blog halfway through last year when I was looking for a recipe for blondies. I became a regular reader this year, and this is the first time I’ve commented…so, hi. I’ve got a heap of questions to ask you about various recipes off this site but I think I’ll stop this comment from becoming longer than it is going to be and save them for later. Anyway, here in Australia, where I’m from, we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving…but I think I just might make this anyway…eventually. I’ve got a batch of the pumpkin swirl brownies in the oven right now, using tofu instead of eggs.
    By the way, Pam, I try to stay egg free, and I don’t use eggs in any of my baking. I usually use a fantastic vegan egg replacer based on starch, but for things like brownies, and probably this tart’s filling, the egg replacer doesn’t work well at all- I always end up with hard, burnt chocolate. However – and this might sound gross – tofu works excellently. You can use 1/4 cup of pureed silken tofu to replace a whole egg in a recipe, and I think for an egg yolk, you should substitute 1/8 cup of pureed tofu. I know it sounds weird, but, really, it usually works great. There are other ways to replace egg yolks with flaxseed or lecithin granules, just Google it.

    1. Wendy

      I used to dread being asked to “please bring dessert” until I found this recipe. It’s quick to make and such a special treat!

  4. Dragana

    This looks sooo delicious, but here where I live (Serbia), we don’t have gingersnap cookies. I now it’s not a problem to substitute with any other tipe, but I just love the taste of ginger. What can I do?

  5. Ginger snaps are one of my favorite gluten-free cookies to use for pie crusts and your filling only calls for 1 tablespoon of flour so this is such an easy recipe to tweak to make gluten-free. Thanks for the inspiration. This looks to be a Christmas Eve show stopper! :-)

  6. Heidi

    Wanted to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed every moment of NaBloPoMo. Everyday was a new journey and I loved the ride. My thighs have expanded just from looking at the photos.

  7. Jennifer

    Fantastic blog – I have been reading your blog for over a year now, but this is my first comment. I made this tart for Christmas last year and it was a big hit!! My family is Swedish so we always have a ton of Gingersnaps (Peppakakors – Swedish Wish Cookies) left over at the holidays. And this is a fantastic way to use them up! While I’m posting – I made the Martha’s Mac and Cheese last night after seeing your beautiful photographs – OMG! Divine Cheese-iness! All the best to you and thanks for a very enjoyable read.

  8. I love candied ginger and ginger of any kind!!!

    Debra, PLEASE post some salads this week. I can’t take it anymore.
    I now want to make THIS tart. I already made 3 of your desserts in the past month and I have to give the stuff away, it’s too GOOD to keep in the house!

    Please make me a fish dish w/ a nice salad this week. I am begging you.
    Happy Sunday.
    Stacey Snacks

  9. I always use gingersnaps for my pumpkin cheesecake. I love serving this one after a big hearty winter meal. I’m curious. I noticed that you didn’t have an egg salad recipe in your recipe index. Did I pass right over it?

  10. alison

    i made this for thanksgiving as well and it was wonderful! everyone loved the crust. i put ground ginger into the filling instead of cinnamon but i bet the cinnamon was even more delicious.

  11. Nancy from PA

    Ooooo….Dark Chocolate! Say no more. Sniff, sniff….I suppose NaBloPoMo must come to an end some time. I’ll just have to drown my sorrow in dark chocolate.

  12. Pam – saw your comment about egg substitution above…my son has an egg allergy and I’ve had great luck with yogurt or pureed fruit as substitutes. They make powdered egg substitute which works pretty well and is necessary if the recipe calls for numerous eggs to provide leavening. A recipe like this one is using the yolks to bind ingredients together and I think 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt would work just fine. Depending on the recipe you can also try pureed apples, pumpkin or sweet potato and get great results too. Good luck!

  13. Susan

    Ginger and chocolate? This filling sounds really wonderful, but I just can’t imagine it with ginger in the filling or even in a gingersnap crust. It’s a contrast of flavors to be sure! It sure looks luscious!

  14. lori

    when i saw the pictures of this dessert earlier in the week, i couldn’t wait to see if you would share the recipe. my roommate and i both love dark chocolate, and this version with cinnamon and gingersnaps sounds amazing. some other dessert may have to be bumped to after christmas

  15. This looks fabulous! I LOVE the combination of gingersnap and chocolate and can’t wait to try this one. Today I’m trying a chocolate cake recipe that you posted way back and so far it’s turning out fabulously!
    Keep the good recipes and pictures coming…I love your blog!

  16. Wow this just made me drool on the computer. This tart is something I would love rich and delicious. Yum this looks likea must make! Your family is quite luckey

  17. This is exactly the kind of chocolate dessert I love. All chocolate, and nothing cake-y getting in the way. I love candied ginger too, so I’ll definitely be trying this without omitting the ginger.

  18. Sharon

    Oh, yum. I think I will try this filling with the Dorie no-shrink crust. I’m not a fan of ginger with chocolate. I think that will work, no?

  19. Deanne

    That looks heavenly and I would bet some powdered ginger in the filling would add a nice spice to cut some of the chocolate richness if the eaters are somewhat wimpy about intense chocolaty-ness. Also, anything do-ahead is a big plus.

  20. Jennifer

    Hi Deb, my sister turned me on to your site and I love it! I was wondering if you have ever brined a turkey? Thinking of trying it, I hear it makes a wonderful, moist bird.

  21. womanofthelaw

    I was trolling internet recipe sites all day today looking for a Mayan or Mexican chocolate type recipe. I tried some Haagen Dazs Mayan Chocolate ice cream once, it’s chocolate with a smooth but significant cinnamon flavor, and I haven’t been able to find it again or stop dreaming of it.

    Does this have a good kick to it? Or are there any recipes that you’ve tried that are a great chocolate / cinnamon combo?

  22. mimi@tokyo

    I love your blog! It is my morning pleasure to visit smitten kitchen when I turn on my PC each morning. Thank you so much! Deb, would you do me a favor? When I look at your beautiful cakes, pies and other foods, I always want to know how it looks inside. It really gives me a better idea of how they are baked and cooked when you have a picture of a piece or a serving. Especially this time because you talk about the interior of the cake. I wanna see it!

  23. deb

    There aren’t always pictures of the insides of cakes and pies because I don’t generally like to bust out the camera at restaurants, dinner parties or in this case, Thanksgiving dinners for dozens. And I occasionally like some time off from photographing things. ;)

  24. Courtney

    I’ve been craving lebkuchen like crazy lately. We always had the chocolate coated ones. This flavor combo looks like it might do the trick.

  25. Deb- I actually did bust out the camera at Thaksgiving to photograph a pie, and I felt kinda guilty about it, even though I have a small point and shoot. I totally know how you feel! Another reason I don’t find myself taking pictures is that the pie/cake is often being served in a restaurant/home with not-so-great lighting to capture the detail. You have so many photographs of the process that I think more than makes up for it.

  26. Deborah

    This looks fabulous! Your daily posts are making my days! I was just eating these same gingersnaps yesterday (having finished the delicious pumpkin pie per the recipe you posted) and was thinking that I’d like to make something with the gingersnaps. Thanks for another new recipe to try!

  27. beth

    I used a gingersnap crust for the pumpkin pie this year and I’ll never go back. I’m usually not a pie for breakfast person, but oh yes.
    I’m going to follow your lead on how to press an even crust, mine was rather bulky in the bend.

  28. I just love desserts that look spectacular but are super simple. This looks delicious- I actually really like candied ginger but I think you made a good call eliminating it from this recipe. Nice, creamy and smooth! Very lovely.

  29. This looks so scrumptious I want to run to the store right now to buy gingersnaps. Your photography is so incredible I feel like I could reach out and touch the food- if only it were so!

  30. oh, i love a good chocolate tart. and gingerbread is one of my favorite flavors to indulge in during the holiday season-in other words, this is definitely being added to my recipe list!

  31. So I made this for a dinner party we were hosting tonight (a potluck!) And it turned out awesome. I don’t own a tart pan so a glass pie dish was its vessel. Also I used a mixture of choclates (because thats what I had on hand) ranging from 65% to 85% cacoa. It came out great, and was a huge hit.

    I can’t wait to have a reason to make it again

  32. DD

    oh boy, i just took this out of the oven and it looks great! but i have to say, i don’t think it’s for beginner bakers. i have chocolate all over the kitchen floor and my crust looks, let’s say, a little more rustic than yours as i am deathly afraid of the food processor and ended up using a meat tenderizer to pulverize the ginger snaps in a freezer bag.

  33. Made this on the weekend for visiting friends and they were floored! Still cutting a thin wedge every time I open the fridge and now have incriminating crumb face.

    Do you think you’ll be posting any Christmassy recipes – I’m attempting my first ever winter Christmas dinner and I’m freaking out!

  34. I made this tonight and it was AWESOME. Very rich, but right up our alley. I did make one major mistake, however, and followed the ‘half a stick’ of butter rather than actually looking at my sticks to see how they were measured out. Turns out I’ve got these freakazoid mega-sticks where half a stick is actually 1/2 cup. Thats what I get for not paying attention. No matter, though, it was STILL amazing, and much of the excess butter melted out of the pan during baking.

  35. Amy

    ***Desperately in need of crust assistance***
    I made this for a party this past weekend and could not remove the tart ring because the crust began to crumble. : ( (though the tart looked stunning even though it remained in it’s metallic mold the entire evening.) I was worried that i had misread the called for butter amount, but i didn’t- 1/4 cup was called for and 1/4 cup was added. Does any one have any tips for me? Has anyone experienced this? I want to make this again. ASAP. Thank you :)

  36. deb

    Hi Amy — So sorry I can’t be more help. I haven’t made a crumb crust before with a tart ring. Is it possible the crumbs were either spread too thin or not pressed in hard enough?

  37. Amy

    Thanks Deb,
    My guess is that the crumbs were not processed fine enough and perhaps I could have used a tad more butter.(?) They were definitely not spread too thin but maybe could have been pressed in harder. I used a drinking glass to build up my crust.

    It’s not the end of the world though- i guess i will just have make another! and another… and another… until i get it right : )

    Happy Holidays.

  38. ivana

    Dragana: I don’t think we have ginger cookies in Croatia neither, but I plan to make this today using Speculaas cookies, adding some ginger. IIRC, it’s a Croatian product, but could be available in Serbia either. Pozdrav iz Zagreba!

  39. Debra

    Thanks for this fabulously decadent recipe! I swapped the ginger cookies for graham crackers — I wasn’t sure how my guests would feel about the gingerbread. But it came out beautifully! Plus, it was fast and really easy to make. The cinnamon and pepper give the chocolate (I used Ghiradelli 60% cocoa bittersweet chips) a subtle but pleasant kick. Deb, you’re the best!

  40. Joy in DC

    Thanks for sharing your version of this recipe. I made this in a 9in springform pan (I don’t have a fluted tart pan), and with a careful eye towards not taking the crust too far up the side, it worked beautifully! I was unprepared for the richness of the chocolate filling (esp. after a big dinner), but I’ll surely be making this again for my chocolate-loving pals.

  41. Kelly

    I just wanted to let you know that this tart came out PERFECTLY. It couldn’t have been easier, and it was truly picture perfect. I made it shortly after Christmas for my parents and my boyfriend’s parents, and I think they were all impressed. Next time I’ll try it with the ginger, just because I hear good things about how ginger and dark chocolate mix.

  42. Lauren (UK)

    I made this yesterday and it was glorious….I used a combination of Green & Blacks cooking chocolate, G&B’s milk chocolate and standard supermarket plain/dark chocolate. I didn’t have any whipping cream so I used creme fraiche, which worked perfectly (although this did give a thicker raw filling that it would with cream). I used Morrison’s Ginger Fingers biscuits for the crust, which wasn’t as thick as the one in the photo but still held together quite well. It was wonderful served just warm, and still wonderful cold today as part of a picnic lunch. Definitely a keeper.

  43. louise

    this is the recipe that keeps being at the top of my to make list.i love gingersnaps and chocolate and the idea of them combined really got me excited.

    nothing could compare to my first bites of it……I’ve gone to heaven.WOW!!! I wanted to eat it all in one sitting but didn’t.

    thank you for bringing this delight to me. i will make it again I’m sure.

  44. rachelpaige

    i made this on saturday and it was amazing!! i forgot to add the flour and it turned out just fine! so fantastically wonderful. thanks for sharing!

  45. emma

    Just made this. Delicious! I accidentally bought chocolate with almonds in it but it was a fabulous mistake- it added a nutty crunch to the dense dark chocolate mass. I will definitely be making this again.

  46. Kate

    I made this tonight for Valentine’s dinner…yummy good :-)

    It is very rich so make it when you are having others over – the tart can feed 10. I just loved the combo of dark chocolate and gingersnaps. I probably added a smidge more cinnamon but I do that all the time whenever cinnamon is called for cause I like it!

    Thanks Deb for a great new recipe to add to my repertoire.

  47. Jessica

    This recipe is awesome, dark, silky chocolate with a soft spicy crust and small bites of candied ginger peppered throughout. I’ve made it twice now and both times it has come out beautifully. I recommend preparing it a day early because I think that it’s much better the day after. Thanks!

  48. Louise

    Very excited to try! Does anyone have tricks to filling 11.5″ tart pans with recipes calling for 9″ pans? I accidentally bought a monster.. Thanks!!

  49. Megh

    Hi! I made this for a pre-wedding party yesterday and needless to say everyone LOVED it :) thank you for the wonderful compliments that I received. Passing the “karma” on to you. The cinnamon and the pepper really did the trick in this … :) I’ve directed everyone who asked me for a recipe to your site. Many thanks once again.

  50. I messed up everything about this tart’s filling, and it still tasted fine. But that crust? That amazing, warm, buttery delicious gingersnap crust of awesome?

    It’s going on the Thanksgiving list; I’m thinking a pumpkin-chocolate cheesecake or tart in that crust would be amazing. New favorite tart crust, I think.

  51. Sharon

    Do you think this recipe will yield enough for 2-4.5″ tartlets? Can tart dough be split in half like that?


  52. Shilpa

    I made this tart for a get together tonight and it was a huge hit! It’s not easy finding gingersnap cookies where I live (in Hong Kong), so I substituted the mentioned quantity of digestive biscuits with 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger, scant 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of clove. It worked just fine though the crust was a little crumbly. Still tasted heavenly! Thanks for another great recipe :)

  53. Erika

    Someone already asked this but I don’t see an answer, I’m afraid. I apologize for the duplication.

    What are your thoughts on substituting bittersweet chocolate with semi-sweet chocolate?

    1. deb

      Go for it. Actually, I didn’t find this particularly sweet as it was, but there’s no reason you can’t increase the intensity with more bitter chocolate.

  54. Erika

    Oops. I’m blaming this one on the pinot grigio.

    Instead of one large egg plus two large egg yolks, I made this with one large egg plus two large egg whites. Is it worth a go or should I take it out of the oven now and start from scratch?

  55. Alisha

    A couple comments requested an alternative to egg yolks. Aside from store bought egg substitute, you can use 1/2 banana to replace one egg. To replace just one yolk, use 1/4 banana. You can also use 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce but I think that banana would definitely be an acceptable substitute in this awesome looking dessert. Canadian Thanksgiving was last weekend and we are having our dinner a bit late so I’m making this. It looks freakin’ tasty.

  56. How long/well would something like this keep in the fridge (or freezer), I wonder? I’m at loose ends trying to come up with something I can make for dessert for a Thanksgiving dinner, when the only day I’ll have to make said dessert is Monday.

  57. Hm. Just noticed that this calls for a 9-inch pan, and mine’s apparently 11-inch. Should I scale this up, and if so, how (considering that it calls for amounts of eggs — it’s not like I can add half an egg and a quarter of a yolk, or whatever)?

    1. deb

      You’d want to scale the recipe by about 1 1/2. (Area of 9″ round: 64; area of 11″ round: 95) You could probably just use 5 egg yolks, or even 1 whole egg plus 3 yolks.

  58. Update: I ended up making the tart as written and just having a flatter tart. (I can’t believe I couldn’t find a 9-inch pan in any store around here!) It was delicious, though incredibly rich, and it seemed to have kept fine for four days in the fridge. :) Thanks for sharing the recipe! :)

  59. Holy Chocolate Batman! This was divine. Next time I will place a baking sheet on the rack underneath – I had burnt sugary liquid on the bottom of my stove (not that it was clean in the first place . . .). Served with unsweetened whipped cream flavored with a touch of real vanilla extract. Heaven . . .

  60. Kristen

    Just to clarify… the gingersnap tart crust does NOT need to be prebaked (and/or chilled) in this recipe before adding filling? Just press into the tart pan and then add the chocolate filling right after?

  61. Leila

    Thank you! What a great recipe.

    I made the gingersnap crust on Christmas to use with some lemon mousse, it was great. Today I made a standard graham cracker crust for the chocolate filling (my MIL isn’t a fan of ginger), and used some orange flavouring in with the chocolate (again, MIL…), and a bit less sugar because all I had on hand (groan…) were chocolate chips. Even with the cheap chocolate, the filling was wonderfully smooth.

    I’ll be making this one again… With some coffee and Kahlua whipped cream… or almond meal in the crust or…

    Mmmm…. I wish I were hungry enough for a second slice… maybe by midnight, though!

  62. Shannon

    Just pulled it out of the oven…mmmhhh it is absolutely delicious! I will have to work on the crust a little more next time so it won’t crumble as much.
    I really want to thank you Deb! Your recipes are the kind I don’t need to try out before a special occasion because I know that they just always turn out right!

  63. Amanda

    So I got a tart pan for Christmas from my grandmother, and had my eye on this recipe the day after. I made my own gingersnaps for the crust, and they turned out awfully brown, but it didn’t matter a bit. I didn’t even wait for it to cool completely before slicing it up and serving it, still molten; one bite made my boyfriend’s eyes roll back in his head. I think I’ll be saving this recipe. :D

    I’ve been baking my way through a variety of your recipes and just wanted to say thanks. You’re helping me establish a reputation as a college kid who can actually cook, somewhat of a rarity around campus. :)

  64. Zoë

    I’ve just asked a similar question about your whole lemon tart, but here I am again. If I were to halve this recipe what would I do about the egg/egg yolks? 2 yolks and one whole egg is not the easiest thing to halve.

  65. Stephanie

    Hi Deb –
    I’m snowed in and have everything I need for this tart except bittersweet chocolate. Could I substitute unsweetened? Would you add some sugar somewhere?

  66. Abby

    I made this tart on Saturday and it was AMAZING! The texture and flavor of the dark chocolate filling was spot on. I paired it with homemade whip cream with a little brown sugar added as well as minced crystallized ginger. Big hit!! Thanks

  67. Frances

    I was wondering– how long can this tart be stored? I’m not talking weeks, but I am thinking of making it and storing it in the fridge for 3 days.


  68. Frances

    thanks! also, would it be possible to make this without the flour, or with a gluten-free alternative to the flour? maybe almond flour or rice flour?

  69. Thanks for the recipe. I made it a few weeks back and it came out really nice. I couldn’t find any gingersnap cookies here in Dubai, so used gingernut ones.

  70. Amy


    I made this last night after trying your homemade ricotta recipe last week and am quickly falling in love with all of your recipes!! This pie is amazing and love, love, love the gingersnap crust. I hope to be making many more with this crust because it gives that spicey flavor.

    Thank you times infinity, I can’t wait to try more of your recipes.


  71. Mia

    Oops, I made this last night and forgot to put it in the refrigerator before bed. Do you think it’s still ok to eat? It was only out overnight.

  72. Meagan

    Thank you for this delicious recipe! I just did a test-run with it and I’m looking forward to bringing it to Thanksgiving dinner. I think this grown-up chocolate flavor will be a big hit. The pepper is such a helpful little punch of flavor!

  73. Carrie

    Ok. First Thanksgiving with my husband’s family and I brought this. Everyone LOVED it!! I made with a package (8oz) of semi-sweet Baker’s chocolate a 4oz milk chocolate bar. Made it the night before, refrigerated and then left out til it was time to eat. Thank you so much for a delicious recipe!!

  74. Grace

    This tart was absolutely divine! I used ghiradelli’s 70% cacao bittersweet baking bars and whole foods 365 brand ginger snaps with bits of ginger inside. Everyone at my dinner party raved about it and asked for the recipes. I also made a whole made whipped cream to go on top with the leftover heavy cream from the recipe. With the holidays approaching, this will be my go to dessert recipe to share with loved one. Thanks a million, deb! You are truly my hero.

  75. Lady, you’ve done it again. Somehow, this tart has become adored and demanded by my family – all of whom claim to abhor tarts, dark chocolate, and gingersnaps – at both Thanksgiving and Christmas You are truly a genius.

  76. nancy

    I made this for my family for Christmas and it was a hit!!! Happy Holidays Deb from our family to yours. Thank you for the insperation and great recipes, can’t wait for the book!!!!

  77. Caetie

    Made this for xmas, and my family was definitely in the nibbling camp (this is so rich!), which left most of it for me, gladly. But it is delicious and really easy to make. I found that the chocolate broke in the pan while melting with the cream, but came back together just fine when I added the eggs etc.

    I used Green + Black’s 70% dark, and I might add a little more pepper next time. Definitely keeps well for at least three days. Would be interesting to experiment with the flavors.. orange zest, cardamom, even chili powder.. but it’s also so good as is.

  78. Shoshana

    Made this with Mom for NYE dinner party at our house this year. OMG it is DELICIOUS (or was, delicious, I should say….). We polished off this bad boy last night. Only thing we had trouble figuring out was what size tart shell to use. We have two 9in tart shells, but the sides are different heights on both – one is 1in tall and the other is twice as high. First I mounted the crust in the shorter tart shell, but after looking at how much filling there was, we transferred everything to the taller (but still 9in) tart shell. Came out great – next time I won’t spend so long scooting the crust all the way up the edges, but it made it look cute and rustic.

    Also had your corn and chive popovers (w/a fabulous roast) and handed off the ceasar devils to a friend who always brings eggs as an appetizer – both were a GREAT hit!

    When is the cookbook going to be ready?!
    Thanks for the wonderful recipes, photos, and inspiration :)

  79. Krystal

    Pulled this one out of the archives and plan to make tonight for V-day treat. But rather than use the gingersnap crust, I was hoping to use David Lebovitz’s unique and (unshrinkable) tart dough to make mini-tarts. Those will be par-baked. In this case, would they need to be baked again with the chocolate filling? Or just add the chocolate fill and allow to set at room temperature?

  80. Beth

    I wouldn’t just set it at room temp, this is a recipe with flour and egg, albeit not much and definitely has a suggestion of brownie like top.

  81. maria

    i LOVE this tart! it is my go to recipe and I´ve always had success!! Question – do you think white chocolate could be used? I am wanting to make a white chocolate tart with cranberries for Thanksgiving this year and was hoping to use this recipe as the base. Thanks Deb!!

    1. deb

      Hi Maria — I haven’t tried it but it could be fun to find out. You’ll want to adjust the sugar, of course, as white chocolate is quite sweet. Let us know how it goes!

  82. averi

    i’m about to make this! i’m stretching a bit and using some dark chocolate with orange peel, and will add some orange zest in as well. i’ve been craving orange flavored chocolate ANYTHING so we’ll see if my inspiration pays off :)

  83. averi

    i had to come back with an update!! i made this today with half of the chocolate dark chocolate with orange peel in it (see: and half semi-sweet chocolate chips. i also added a bit of fresh orange zest in, and made the crust with trader joe’s ginger cats (my favorite ginger cookies ever!).

    in short, it was incredible. i took it to a thanksgiving potluck and it was an incredible hit. so good! can’t wait to make it for thanksgiving number two later this week.

    overall, i definitely support the addition of orange if one is so inclined.

  84. DNara

    I made this for Thanksgiving this year. It was a huge hit amongst kids & adults. Everyone was scrambling to get the last piece of the pie. I used Dark choc. since I did not have any bittersweet. This is an awesome pie, any day of the year. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!

  85. Kim

    Hi Deb,

    I just made this over the weekend and it was great! My only one issue was that the crust seemed really hard to cut into. Any recommendations? Thanks!

  86. beth

    I made this this morning for a work function and it was amazing! Love that it wasn’t too sweet. I have eaten more smitten kitchen recipes this week than I care to admit, they are all so great!

  87. Emma

    Made this for Christmas dinner last night with the gingersnaps (only needed 1/2 recipe) from this site – awesome! Found the crust greasy to work with, though, and I noticed a lot of butter leaked out while baking. When I make it again I think I’ll use a higher ratio of cookie to butter.
    (Also, I should mention that I made it in a springform pan and had no issues.)

  88. Thanks for this! I’ve had this on my ‘to-make’ list for some time, and finally had the excuse! These are my dad’s favourite flavours, and he’s coming over for lunch tomorrow! ;)

  89. Sara

    Hi Deb,

    I have made this tart countless times and every lucky recipient has loved it. Today i was out of cream and used creme fraiche thinned with a little milk and it is divine! Thank goodness for a poorly sticked fridge. Thanks for the great recipe!

  90. Gavin

    My mother and I have both made this tart in the last month and it is foolproof. She’s in the States and I’m in London, everything worked. She had a rectangle tart pan, I had a round one that was slightly smaller than the 9″ suggested. For the non-US readers: for “bittersweet” chocolate, I used 8oz of 70% Lindt dark combined with 4oz of a 55% “semisweet” Baker’s bar that I had left over from another project. It was dark and rich, but not quite as bitter as it might have been with full 70%. It also still took 30min in the combo “fan” oven I have in the UK. This one is definitely for chocolate lovers, those on the fence won’t be able to eat a full slice. I served with plenty of whipped cream, barely sweetened with powdered sugar and a dash of cinnamon and vanilla. Thanks Deb! When are you coming to London to promote the book?

  91. Danie

    I made this last year for my birthday because I’d tried something similar at a restaurant and fell in love! It came out great even though I had to use a springform pan instead of a tart pan. Great recipe and very easy!

  92. Kelly

    I made this recipe using gluten-free gingersnaps from Trader Joe’s and gluten-free all-purpose flour from Bob’s Red Mill and it turned out amazing! Thanks for a great recipe!

  93. RAR

    I am making this tart for an event on Saturday, but really only have time to bake Thursday. Would it still be good (no soggy crust!) two days later? Or if not, could I make the crust and filling on Thursday (but keep them separate) and bake it Friday afternoon?

    1. deb

      I think it will keep. Sometimes crumb crusts can get soggy over a couple days but the filling here isn’t especially wet so it might not be a problem. However, there’s no harm in keeping them both separate until they can be baked together.

  94. RAR

    Thank you! Would I have to bring them both to room temperature before baking or could I just add a couple extra minutes if they’re cold from the fridge?

  95. Kpaquette

    Deb, I’ve made soooo many of your recipes and they’ve all been amazing – but this one was the best! I made this for dessert at a dinner party – I told the guests they were guinea pigs and that if it turned out I would be making this for the holidays. IT WAS AMAZING. I don’t bake. I don’t do desserts. But everyone (including me) was blown away by how good this was. Your description that it was like a truffle inside is spot on. There are so many flavors going on with the cinnamon and the salt and pepper and gingersnap crust – but all blend perfectly to make the best dessert I’ve ever made! Thank you!

  96. irma

    Hi, this recipe is missing the metric conversions :( I want to make this so bad after reading all the comments. Could you please include them? Thanks.

  97. bloomie

    Has anyone made this with a graham cracker crust instead? Not the biggest fan of ginger, but thought graham would make a nice Thanksgiving dessert as well.

  98. Kim

    Hi Deb,

    I’ve made this tart a couple of times before (all times delicious). Just wondering if you had any tips for actually cutting the tart. The last time I made the tart the crust was really hard to cut into.


  99. jelly

    Hi Deb- first time commenting here. I’m a huge fan of yours! The tart is in the oven now and I’ve had it in a little over a half hour and it is still jiggly- should this be the case and it will harden after i take it out? or give it some more time?! thanks!!! (p.s) made your blood orange olive oil cake yesterday and it was BEYOND amazing. thank you!!

  100. jelly

    Thank you for your response! It was almost wet jiggly in the center and only slightly jiggly around the edges- i’d say the two inches around the crust seemed good. I ended up putting foil around the crust and kept it in for 25 extra minutes. It was still a bit jiggly and after letting it cool i thought I was doomed. So i left it there and went about my business. Three hours later… it was set and perfect. The crust was a tad dark but it ended up enhancing the gingersnaps. Loved the pepper! It really added a subtle depth. My oven temp was on point…but i did use a 9 1/2 inch tart pan instead of a 9″ so I doubled the recipe and ended up filling the rest for mini tartlets. Maybe the extra eggs/ cream just needed extra time?! probably should have mentioned that earlier :) Anyhow- it was a perfect combination and the richness was not too intense by any means! absolutely wonderful! thank you

  101. Victoria Solomon

    Made this twice. The first time I followed the recipe, but the second time I used half & half instead of whipping cream, and also 8 oz. dark chocolate instead of 10 (because that’s what was in my fridge). I think both versions are very good! I just upped the flour to 2 tbsp on the one with less cream and chocolate. Yum.

    1. deb

      AJ — I don’t see why not. There’s already some cinnamon in there; you might leave it or find you don’t need it. (Basically, this recipe spices up plain chocolate.)

  102. Anush

    I’ve made this several times for parties and always get amazing reactions. Someone at work asked if I could bring it for a retirement party, but wanted me to make it into small bars so it would be more of a finger-food dessert. I put a little extra butter in the crust to make sure it wouldn’t crumble and cooked it for 25 minutes in a 9×13 pan, then cut into little 2×2 inch bars. People gobbled them up. My plan for next time is to sprinkle a little sea salt on top of the bars. I promised my coworkers I’d bring them to the holiday party. Thanks for a great recipe!

  103. Christine

    Deb, I made this for the first time for a dinner party. It was a big hit, but I have to tell you, its even better served cold from the fridge. The texture is better and the flavors come out even more – especially the ginger in the gingersnap crust.

    I’m a big fan of your site & blog – such great recipes and you always make me smile. Thanks, Deb!

  104. Elisabeth

    How do you think this recipe would hold up if I doubled it and baked in an 8″ springform pan? A taller, bigger version would be perfect for me — I’m baking for a potluck and looking to serve 20ish. How much longer in the oven? Any other tweaks? Or is this just a terrible idea to experiment with the night before the event?

    1. deb

      Elisabeth — It might work. I mean, it will taste good regardless. I’m not sure if a taller version might be more at risk of cracking, but nothing a few dollops of whipped cream cannot fix. I cannot estimate the cooking time without having made it, but it would be more than the original (obviously, I know) and less than double. I’d check in frequently the first time you make it. This is a very intense chocolate tart, btw! My husband’s family loves it. My family, also supposedly chocoholics, find it a bit too rich. (More for us!)

  105. Andrea

    Do you have any thoughts on the cooking time when using smaller 4″ tart pans? I know it will be less time than the original recipe calls for, just nervous about undercooking…

    1. deb

      Andrea — No, I cannot estimate very well but I’d just keep an eye on them, and look for it to be puffed with a softly set center. Generally speaking, it will of course be less than the full amount of time, but more than half of it.

  106. Saurs

    You know, I’m not normally so cautious when contemplating switching out browned butter for the regular ol’ melted stuff, and I have made this before, but: Deb, what do you think? By virtue of the browning, one tends to loose just a smidgen of “wet” I find — if I wanted to brown the butter, deepen the flavors, do you think an extra half a tablespoon of butter should do it? I’d hate to make the crust too dry or crumbly, and I tend to compensate my melting just a touch more. Your thoughts?

    1. deb

      Saurs — It could be good in the crust here. You can add back about 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon water per stick to compensate for water loss if you’re using standard American butter sticks (rather than a European brand, which have less water/more butterfat). Happy baking!

  107. Tristin

    Can I use a regular pie crust/pan instead of a tart pan? Will there be enough filling ya think? Short on time and have spelt pie crusts in the freezer :/

    1. deb

      Tristin — I think you’ll have a little, but not a lot, less than you need. Nothing some generous dollops of whipped cream on top couldn’t compensate for.

  108. Hustannah

    This is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever put in my mouth!! I’ve made it three times now, following the recipe to the T every time and everyone goes nuts over it each time. I love everything about it, the spicy gingersnaps and black pepper and the rich, creamy chocolate. And that it’s one of the easiest things I’ve ever made is just as sweet as the fresh whipped cream on top. Thank you so much!!

  109. Saurs

    Reporting back on the browned butter version: even compensating with water, it felt a touch dry prior to patting out into the pan, so I added in an additional tablespoon melted (not browned) butter, and it worked pretty well. A touch crumbly, still, but the flavor was tremendous: dark, deep, a touch bitter, and salty rich. Excellent! Thanks, again, for your work here, Deb.

  110. Volker

    Greets from Cologne,

    i´ve made it one Day befor Mothersday with Caramel-Bisquits from Holland, served with fresh Rasberrys, a Dream. For the next i´ll take darker Chocolate, the Bisqiut´s are very sweet.

  111. Kathleenwa4

    Someone else may have said this already. I substituted the heavy cream with coconut cream – same amount – for a dairy intolerant friend and it worked like a dream! I’ve made this 3 times to rave reviews. It’s a super impressive and really simple dessert. I plan to keep making it whenever there is an occasion. I’m not a baker but everyone is so impressed with this tart they don’t believe that. Thank you!!!

  112. Susan

    Have you ever tried adding pecans to the top of this? I’m thinking it would be good as a chocolate/pecan tart. Thanks – can’t wait to try the tart.

  113. ruthy in vt

    Hi Deb. I am driving myself crazy looking for a tart recipe that I made a few years ago around Christmas. I am nearly positive it was from your site: had a crust with crushed chocolate cookies, then a frozen layer with maple and cream and then another layer with frozen whipped cream. Am I insane, or did something like this exist on your site? Hoping it still exists and I just can’t find it.

    1. deb

      ruthy — I’m sorry it has taken so long to respond only to say: I don’t think it’s my recipe! I mean, it sounds amazing and I wish it were, but it’s not anything I remember. I just Googled those words and didn’t find anything elsewhere, either. Good luck! And do share the source: perhaps it’s a sign I DO need to make it. ;)

  114. ruthy in vt

    Oh no! I have no idea where the recipe came from then. Could it just have been an incredibly vivid and delicious dream? I will make it my mission to find the recipe and when I do, I will share it with you.

  115. This looks delicious! And I always trust your baking instincts so I will also forgo the candied ginger and follow your adaptation of the original recipe. Can’t wait for my uni semester to be over so I can get back to baking.

  116. Aviva Prager

    Hi Deb! I am excited to make this for Thanksgiving! Do you have any suggestions for how to make this without a food processor? I have an immersion blender for the gingersnaps and then could stir in the butter? Thanks!

  117. Jennifer Tarr

    Deb, with most recipes that call for bittersweet, I sub semi. Our chocolate lovers do not have that mature of a pallet. Will that work for this recipe? Other suggestions?

  118. Rebecca

    Are there any substitutes for heavy cream that would work in this recipe? I found a list of possibilities, but I wasn’t sure if they would work in a tart. My mom is hesitant to use heavy cream, so I am on a mission to either convince her it’s okay or find a substitute!

    1. deb

      Convince her it is okay, imho. Otherwise the texture isn’t as good. Otherwise, if you must, use half-and-half or just say you did. (I’m terrible, I know.)

    1. deb

      You could increase the recipe by 1/3 which I realize sounds like a headache but I’d say 11 ounces cookies, 1/3 cup butter, 16 ounces chocolate, 1 1/3 cups cream, maybe 4 yolks + 1 large egg (instead of 2 and 1), 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon flour, etc…
      8 ounces gingersnap cookies (about 32 cookies), coarsely broken

  119. Erin

    Any ideas re making this in a pie plate instead of a tart pan? I had bad luck with my tart tin when I made this last (crust crumbled when the ring was removed) but it may have just been me and I most likely didn’t process the gingersnaps enough. Any thoughts? Also-you are the best!

  120. This was a hit! I made it in a glass pie dish and it was delicious. My only problem was that the crust crumbles at the slightest touch. I processed the cookies well, added the correct amount of butter, and pressed it firmly in the pan. I also noticed it didn’t have much of a gingersnap flavor, so perhaps I’m using subpar cookies? Any suggestions on how to keep the crust from disintegrating?

  121. Frances

    This was wonderful for Thanksgiving! Just a sliver with whipped cream and berries – I could have served 16 with my tart pan. I happened to pick up Triple Ginger Snaps at Trader Joe’s – they were great and had candied ginger pieces which made the crust really shine. Was easy to make and I would absolutely make again!

  122. bookworm13

    Hi Deb,
    I made this over the weekend and it was wonderful. My only question has to do with the crust. For some reason I found that it was very crumbly and didn’t stay together very well when cutting the tart. Do you have any suggestions on how to remedy this? Should I have added more butter?


    1. deb

      Glad this was a hit. Crumb crusts are very prone to crumbling. Having a very fine grind on the crumbs can help. If it seemed crumbly/not adhering well while going in, however, it may have benefitted from a bit more butter. I find crumb crust recipes hard to get perfect for everyone because the moisture and crumb and weight and buttery-ness from brand to brand of cookies will vary.

  123. Sara

    This has been my go to dessert for years, making it easily gluten free by using gf gingersnaps and flour. I’ve also used gf shortbread cookies in place for the crust and had success. However now I have to cut dairy, which is not fun, so I’m wondering if there are any suggestions of how to sub the cream for soy, almond, coconut, etc. I’m hopefull but know it likely wouldnt work.

    1. Anna

      I would love to know about non-dairy options as well! Butler is fine for my husband but cream isn’t. Sad times…
      Would coconut cream work?

  124. Heather

    I made this and it turned out perfect! Thank you for another great recipe😀 I did guild the lily a bit by adding a thin layer of shiny ganache. Just perfect with coffee!

  125. Angela

    This is such a great basic recipe. I added in a home made bourbon vanilla, and swapped out vanilla cookies and toasted pecans, with plenty of salt for the crust. I did not use the flour and the filling was wonderful. This is a fun recipe to play with!

  126. Julie

    We always have our same-old T-Day desserts of my husband’s fave delicious brown-butter apple crisp and my MIL’s sweet potato pie (NOT my fave), but I’m thinking I REALLY need a chocolate dessert for me, since I’m hosting 12 people in my new home and having 4 weekend guests as part of the whole extravaganza. I deserve chocolate. I’m contemplating making this into tiny tartlets using mini-muffin/cupcake tins. I’m worried that they’re going to crumble like crazy and be impossible to pop out of the tins. Any pro-tips?

    1. lgwalker

      Hi Julie,’

      I’m having the same comtemplation re: individual mini versions of this recipe for a Christmas gathering. Did you try it for Thanksgiving? Any advice? I’m not squeamish about a few broken or wonky bits here and there.


  127. Patty

    Thanksgiving Eve and my away at college girl just came home. We decided that our dessert table would need chocolate. We had all the ingredients and she could make it herself with just a smidge of guidance. It was fantastic and a crowd favorite. We did skip the black pepper but otherwise followed to a T. Highly recommend. If I hadn’t made the Apple Slab Pie, we wouldn’t have had a tie.
    Thanks, Deb.

  128. Deb!!! I’m gluten free and managed to find ginger snaps that Are gluten free but wondering what I can use for that small amount of flour called for in the filling. Any advice? Thanks so much for a marvelous recipe

  129. Jeremy Hampton

    Deb—how do you think this would hold up if frozen? I’m trying to get as much prep done before Thanksgiving as I possibly can.

    1. Steph

      Jeremy, did you freeze this? How did it hold up? I want to make this for Christmas two days out (so, today haha) and am thinking I should just put it in the fridge… Wondering if it will get soggy, as Deb’s recommendation says one day in advance.

  130. Laura

    I am planning on making this tomorrow but instead of gingersnaps will use chocolate wafer cookies. Can anyone think of a reason this won’t work? I figure i will follow Deb’s instructions otherwise…

  131. Mary Ann

    Aaagh! This and the orange chocolate chunk cake are my go to holiday recipes. This year, I was at Whole Foods and for some reason (tariffs, drought?) they had no bittersweet chocolate in bars, so I bought bittersweet chocolate chips. Big mistake. The it seemed like the fat separated from the chocolate and would’t blend like it always has. Husband is now making another run to a different grocer. What is different about chips or did I do something wrong?

    1. Steph

      Hi Mary Ann, in my experience, chips generally contain stablaizers which could’ve been your problem here. Where do you live? My WF in CT had bittersweet bars…

      Good luck with round 2!

    1. Jane

      I used chocolate almond milk instead of heavy cream, and it was delicious! I frequently sub full fat coconut cream for cream or milk, but had none in the cupboard.

  132. Isaiah

    Excellent! This is a dark chocolate lovers dream desert. Delicious and easy to make. Any skepticism of adding black paper is immediately remedied upon tasting. Thanks for the recipe, and if you have not made this yet, stop reading reviews and go make it! We used Ghirardelli dark baking chocolate, and it was crazy good.

  133. Molly

    Another winner from Smitten Kitchen! Mine didn’t puff around the edges during baking – it seemed a little denser – but it set completely and was absolutely delicious. Can’t wait to have another piece later today.

  134. Lauren

    I just made this for NYE and it was a dark, wonderful treat with simple whipped cream on the side! I love the notes of winter spice and the intensity of the chocolate. I packed the crust tightly and it held together quite nicely as it came out of the tart pan!

  135. Janice

    Question: the introductory text says “I made this the way I saw fit, with a couple pinches of cinnamon and salted butter in the crust, and it came out exactly as I’d hoped,” but the recipe for the crust does not include additional cinnamon. Did you add cinnamon to the crust? If so, how much?

    Planning to make this this weekend! Thanks :)

  136. Mandy S

    I made a 3/4 batch and baked this in a rectangular tart pan and used cinnamon graham crackers for the crust, so I omitted the cinnamon . (I used 2 egg yolks and omitted the egg but maybe next time I’ll try 1 yolk and 1 egg.) Next time I’ll melt the chocolate in a double boiler — if I melt it any other way it seems to get gritty. But it still was delicious!!!

  137. Cara Byrne

    This is a winner every time I make it. Easy, decadent, delicious. It also is one of the few baked goods that I have adapted with success. I ended up making it today with a leftover chocolate Easter bunny and some cinnamon Goldfish cookies – which worked out nicely!

  138. K

    Since I came across your recipe, I’m required to make it every year for a friend’s birthday! Not exactly a hardship since I love it too.

    – I double it and bake it in two 8×8 pans. I press the crust only on the bottom, not up the sides, so it’s easy for everyone at the birthday party to pick them up and eat them as bars.
    – For gingersnaps, I use 1 tub of Trader Joe’s triple ginger cookies. These have a great strong ginger flavor.
    – The tubs are 14 oz (vs. the 16 oz the recipe calls for). I don’t reduce the butter — I use a whole stick anyway. That makes the crust much less crumbly.
    – And I microwave the ganache because I’m lazy and it comes out perfectly.
    – It can take a little longer for the center to set (only really necessary because we’re eating them as bars — it would be great runny, too).

    Other than that, I do it exactly as written, and it’s excellent! I’ve also used the chocolate filling in other recipes like s’mores bars, chocolate pies, etc. Can’t be beat!

  139. Maura

    I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a hit.

    After reading commenters cite concerns with the crust, and having read Deb’s response to one: I increased the butter by 1 tbsp. Yes, it was a bit crumbly, but for the most part is stood firm!

    I added a sprinkle of salt upon the chocolate, prior to baking. Received some positive comments on this from my young niece.

    My only regret is that I only had the smallest slice for myself. Should have squirreled more away for myself. :)

  140. Ali

    This is amazing. It was a hit at Thanksgiving ’22 and will be making a triumphant return in ’23. It’s very rich and I need only a small sliver to feel like I’ve had a decadent dessert.